Why The Clock Is Ticking On Olympic Autonomy

2019-07-01 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Papa Masata Diack

The details of the allegations and evidence of a trail of “corruption, organised crime” and criminality at the heart of Track and Field on the way to implosion and IAAF commitment to change may come as no surprise to any who follow the hidden side of the autonomous world of Olympic sports governance that is, slowly but surely, being exposed to the light of truth (much more of that ahead in many sports, swimming included).

In the latest ARD update (link to English version below) on one of the key ripples from the German TV station’s exposure of the Russian doping scandal (one about much more than Russia) in 2014 – at a time when FINA, the international swimming federation was handing its top honour to Vladimir Putin and Vitaly Mutko – we are reminded of the IOC decision to award Senegal the Youth Olympics. That decision was taken when Olympic bosses knew that the country was refusing to extradite one of the prime suspects, Papa Massata Diack, son of then IAAF boss Lamine Diack (under house arrest in Paris), in an Olympic scandal that exposes Games governors as either incapable or unwilling to take measures necessary to end the rot. Those Olympic bosses knew, at the time of the decision on Senegal, that an international arrest warrant had been issued for Papa Massata Diack’s arrest.

The presence in the ARD documentary of a German politician, Dagmar Freitag, Head of the Sports Committee of the German Bundestag, is significant, not just for the truth she tells but the conclusion being arrive at by many politicians around the world whose governments subsidise Olympic sport with public money that far outweighs any of the funding for Olympic sport that comes from broadcasters and the IOC: the autonomy of the Olympic movement and its governance must end (a theme we will be taking a longer, in-depth look at in the near future).

“In my view the decision to award the Youth Olympics to Senegal is absolutely incomprehensible. The country refuses to hand over one of the main suspects to the French authorities and the IOC has nothing better to do than to reward the country with the Youth Olympic Games.”

Dagmar Freitag, Head of the Sports Committee of the German Bundestag

Head German athletics coach Clemens Prop gives the whole affair 10/10 on the Richter scale of sporting scandals. As he puts it in the ARD video you can reach via the link below:

“Athletes are being blackmailed, events are being bought, everything is being done in sport that is completely incompatible with the ideals.”

Clemens Prop

We are reminded of “generous contributions to cover up doping cases” and hear taped conversations in which top officials confirm with each other that there can be no paper trail, nothing written down. The world, of course, has other ways of getting to the truth.

The ARD Sportschau (English edition):

Watch and listen to the sights and sounds of the slow death (one might say suicide) of autonomy in Olympic sports governance.

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